In today’s rifle market, there are endless variants of the beloved AR-15. There’s a good reason the AR-15 is so popular and considered America’s Rifle with its ergonomics and accuracy along with reliability. The problem is once you own a few, they become fairly common and lately, that’s where I’ve been. I wanted something different in a rifle, something that is easy to shoot but isn’t the same as every other rifle. I started looking at the CZ-USA Bren 2 MS a while back and after some debating, I ended up purchasing one to put through its paces. Let’s take a closer look at the CZ’s new Bren 2 MS pistol.
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The Bren 2 MS is a fairly significant departure from most rifles on the market today. The biggest difference right off the bat is the inclusion of carbon fiber reinforced lower receiver and side charging system. With the upper receiver holding the entire action, there’s no need for a buffer tube or traditional AR-style stock. The version I settled on for testing was their 8″ 5.56×45 but the Bren 2 MS also comes in 11″ and 14″ versions as well as a 7.62×39 chambering. Right out of the box, the Bren 2 MS is incredibly light. The overall weight without optics or anything is 5.4lbs which is a small sub-gun territory.
CZ went with a short stroke piston system with the recoil springs inside the receiver to cut down on the overall profile of the rifle. This means you can throw on a number of aftermarket stock options available based on what you prefer. The standard endcap comes with an opening to add on a standard AR15 buffer tube if you’d like to go that route. SB Tactical also makes a brace option for the Bren 2 MS if you wanted something specific for the firearm.
CZ wanted to depart from other manufacturers when it comes to their rifle design but kept a few features from popular rifles to make it more accessible. The first is the overall layout for the safety selector and magazine release. Both are almost identical to the AR-15 which makes transitioning to the Bren 2 a real breeze. Having the ability to take standard STANAG AR magazines also lets people who shoot the AR move over to the CZ Bren 2 fairly easily. CZ also included a bolt hold open and release inside the trigger guard which almost acts like an improved BAD lever. MSRP on the CZ Bren 2 MS is $2,085.99 and it is available in all configurations now.
- Product: CZ Bren 2 MS Pistol
- Caliber: 5.56x45mm
- Barrel: 8″ Cold Hammer Forged Barrel
- Frame: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer
- Weight: 5.4lbs
- Length: 20″
- Safety: Ambidextrous Safety Selector
- MSRP: $2,085.99
Over the last few years at TFB, I have worked on a number of rifle reviews but this may be one of my longest without actually writing about it. I had no interest in keeping this in its pistol format so I immediately submitted my paperwork to convert it into an SBR. I picked up a new handguard and stock option to make the Bren 2 just a tad bit more accessible with various M-LOK products. Once everything was added onto the Bren 2, it really started to shine as a compact rifle.
So far, I have roughly 2,600 rounds through the Bren 2 both running it with and without a suppressor. I can confidently say throughout this entire time of testing, I haven’t had a single malfunction or hiccup. CZ sends the Bren 2 MS with a three-prong flash hider as standard, but I decided to swap it for an ASR muzzle brake to suppress it with my Silencerco Saker K. The short stroke piston system has three gas settings to adjust for suppressed and unsuppressed shooting.
Something this short would definitely benefit from flow through technology like a HUXWRX or SIG suppressor but the ASR muzzle brake I installed keeps this gun crazy flat while firing. The addition of the CZ trigger allows for fast double taps and quick firing. The trigger has a bit of takeup before hitting a defined wall and breaking around 3.75lbs. It’s a quick light trigger and so far I’d say it’s a pretty awesome trigger from the factory.
Features and Accuracy
One of my favorite things about the Bren 2 over something like a Scar 16 is the nonreciprocating charging handle and just overall ease of use. All of the controls on the Bren 2 are easily accessible and with a little practice can really make you have substantially faster reloads than other platforms. Every time I would switch from a different rifle back to the Bren 2, the overall weight of this rifle shocked me every time. It’s stupid light while offering subtle recoil which allows you to transition between targets incredibly fast.
To test accuracy out of this 8″ barrel, I decided to use 55gr PMC X Tac ammo as well as M193 from IMI. I didn’t bother with match grade ammo just for the simple fact it’s an 8″ barrel. At 100 yards, I averaged 2.5-3″ groups with both ammo. The X TAC seemed to group slightly better and I even got a 2″ group twice with 5 shots. It’s not crazy accurate but that’s not the point since it’s such a short barrel. This thing is designed almost as a PDW or up close go-to work gun. Add in a folding stock along with some accessories and you have a hard-hitting small package.
When it comes to adding accessories onto the Bren 2, there are a number of companies offering aftermarket support for these pistols and rifles. Like I said earlier, SB Tactical is offering folding braces for these to keep it a pistol. Other companies like HB Industries and Haga Defense are also stepping up to offer a number of upgrades to the standard rifle. I ended up going with everything from HB Industries, which includes their handguard and G36 stock conversion. I may break those upgrades into their own review, but so far I really think these are functionally necessary upgrades, especially the handguard. I’ve heard in the past how CZ doesn’t always get a ton of aftermarket support but these companies definitely have stepped up and filled the void.
So after a year of ownership and using this Bren 2 a ton, what are my thoughts? Well, there are benefits and negatives to this system if I’m being honest. Once it’s upgraded with a more usable hand guard and some sort of stock or brace, I think it’s really hard to beat this little beast. I think for over $2k, it should come with some sort of brace system but once it’s fully done up, this is genuinely one of my favorite rifles in my collection. It has a fun appeal to it that just works at the range. The lightened frame really makes a difference and just makes the Bren 2 MS a really handy rifle especially SBRed.
Is it perfect out of the box? No, but it’s definitely achievable with a few upgrades and I don’t see myself selling this rifle for anything any time soon. It’s a true falling in love story and I won’t separate with this rifle for anything new. So in short, should you buy this gun? My answer is a loud yes with the caveat of being prepared to sink a little more money into parts for it. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. If you have questions about this or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!
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